If you listened to the recent Linden Lab podcast (which sound sort of staged maybe because it’s not some resident doing the podcast but LL themselves) you might have heard Joe talking about Mono. And Periapse confirmed that a Mono beta will be out soon indeed starting on Jan 30th 2008 on the beta grid.
You can find further information on the Mono Beta FAQ wiki page. Mono office hours are planned, too.
What is Mono?
Not so technical people might now wonder what Mono actually is. Mono is the replacement of the old LSL (Linden Scripting Language) scripting engine which drives all of the dynamic objects in Second Life. The old engine has several limitation such as speed, memory limitations and more. Mono tries to solve most of these problems. The LSL syntax is not to go away though. Mono will just be the backend.
Mono itself is no invention of Linden Lab but a port of the .NET framework from Microsoft to an open source solution. Mono does also mean that in the future not only LSL will be possible as scripting frontend but many other languages (let’s hope for Python :-) ).
So this is good news and let’s hope for a smooth transition.